How not getting enough sleep could raise your risk of illness in a way that might surprise you | The Sun

NOT getting enough shut-eye won’t just leave you yawning at work the next day.

We’re all meant to grab seven to nine hours of sleep a night according to the NHS, but it’s not always possible.

Now researchers have discovered that banking fewer than six hours of snooze a night can mean you respond less well to vaccines, alongside feeling shattered.

The team from the University of Chicago and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research reviewed data from a number of previous studies, publishing their analysis in the journal Current Biology.

They found people who didn’t clock up enough kip in the days surrounding an immunisation – like jabs for flu or hepatitis – had a decreased antibody response to the drugs. 

As a result, they may be more susceptible to illness.

Catching a decent amount of Zzzs the week before and after though, could help boost your body’s response to vaccination, even helping its effects last longer. 

Senior author on the research Eve Van Cauter, Professor Emeritus of Medicine at UChicago, said: “Insufficient sleep is a behavioural factor that can be corrected before vaccination and may not only strengthen, but also extend, the vaccine response.

“We know that people respond differently to vaccination according to their age, sex, existing medical conditions and other factors that cannot be readily changed. 

“Having an easily modifiable behaviour that you can adjust around the time of your appointment gives you something you can control that is likely to improve your body’s response.”

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Writing in Current Biology, the experts added that the immune system isn't the only one impacted by the amount of sleep you get.

Prof Van Cauter said that not getting enough shut eye is also linked to an increased risk of developing obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

"Vaccines are an important tool for preventing and reducing the impacts of infectious diseases, and we think that you may be able to implement a simple behavioral change — getting enough sleep — to derive an immediate benefit.

"It’s cheap, and there is no adverse effect," he added.

A study published in February found that having an irregular sleep pattern increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Having an irregular sleep pattern can block up your arteries, increasing your chances of developing the conditions, experts said.

Their study tracked the sleep patterns against the heart attack and stroke rate of 2,000 American adults for three years.

It found the risk of a heart attack rose by 140 per cent for those with irregular sleep patterns of over just two hours within a week.

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They also found the chances of having a stroke increased by 120 per cent in those who had an irregular sleep patterns of over just two hours within a week.

Lead author, Kelsie Full of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, said people should improve their sleep to look after their heart health.

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